SIM linked data security measure to defend against phishing attacks

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Stolen bank account credentials have been a persistent issue in countries like Britain, the United States, Australia, and Canada, often resulting in significant financial losses. However, Singapore’s leading telecommunications company, Singtel, has introduced an innovative solution to combat such phishing attacks.

Their latest security measure, which links SIM cards to user accounts, provides a user-friendly yet robust defense against hackers attempting to drain bank accounts through fraudulent means. Through their newly launched service, the SingVerify System, Singtel aims to prevent financial fraud scams, leveraging the mobile phone’s SIM card as a crucial line of defense.

This technology operates by synchronizing transaction data with real-time telco data transmitted from the user’s device. If there’s a discrepancy between the two sets of data as per the bank’s records, the transaction is promptly denied and invalidated.

Here’s how it works: when a user initiates a transaction, such as transferring funds to an individual or company, the phone number associated with the financial institution is cross-referenced with the identity data stored on the Singtel customer’s mobile SIM card. Only if there’s a match between the two sets of data will the transaction proceed.

This approach eliminates the necessity for generating one-time passwords (OTPs) and can serve as an additional layer of security for OTP-based transactions, which are increasingly common worldwide.

In a similar move, Verizon introduced a beta version of a comparable service in October 2023, aimed at securing transactions for its customers amidst the surge in scams. While still in the development phase, the app functions similarly to Singtel’s solution by disallowing financial transactions initiated from mobile apps that aren’t conducted from the registered device linked to the bank. This linkage ensures that the SIM card number and phone number’s identity data align, further bolstering transaction security

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Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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